Toyota recalled nearly 1.7 million cars worldwide Wednesday for possible fuel leaks, the latest in a ballooning number of quality problems that could further tarnish the company's reputation in the United States.
The recalls are mostly in Japan, but include Lexus IS and GS luxury sedans sold in North America. That's where the world's No. 1 car company faces the biggest challenges in winning back customer trust.
U.S. dealers will inspect cars to see if loose fuel pressure sensors caused leaks. There were no accidents suspected of being caused by those problems, according to Toyota. The car maker has received 77 complaints overseas, 75 of them in North America, and more than 140 in Japan.
The latest quality hitch follows a spate of recalls that began in late 2009, mostly in North America, which now cover more than 12 million cars and trucks. The recalls involve defective floor mats and gas pedals that get stuck, some of them suspected of causing unintended acceleration.
Wednesday's recalls come exactly one year after Toyota stopped selling eight models in the U.S. because of unintended acceleration problems. The sales suspension affected 60 percent of Toyota's lineup in the U.S., and was the first of four sales halts last year. .